Garrett MacNamara


I just got off the phone with Garrett MacNamara. Garrett, or Gmac as he is known, has a reputation for being the most extreme of the extreme in surfing. The first time I met him was at Jaws at the  first World Tow In Championships which he won, surfing with Ikaika Kalama I believe.

Garrett had needed a shot for an advertisement for a new line of standup paddleboards he is endorsing. I had to go looking for the image and reprocess the Raw file. What I saw in the data  sort of surprised me.

The day of this shot I had watched Garrett get this wave from the pack (NOT an easy thing to do at Pipeline) after a couple beatings on prior attempts. He had acquired it by taking off with his brother who straightened out and then shockingly sped through the barrel.

As he walked by and said hello after the drama was done, he was his usual calm and relaxed self and I was laughing hilariously. “Garrett you are so much more fun than a barrel of monkeys!” I¬† had said laughingly.

As I viewed my metadata today, I saw that I had captured this image at F11 and 1/20th a second. My big Canon 600F4 image stabilized lens and little Rebel XTI body had managed to work with the absurdly slow shutter on fast tempo action and produced a rare image.¬† Was it luck, skill, or technology at it’s best? No definable answer is forthcoming from me. I simply do not know. But somehow I had an instinct, a little voice in the back of my head prompting me to walk a fine line as Gmac flowed his. We got it.

The images below are a couple from that same season. These are 3 of 500 or so final selects from that visit back to my home away from home. Aloha is better than magic. Hawaii and it’s people seem to supply it in abundance.

Jamie Sterling, surfing his backyard

Jamie Sterling, surfing his backyard

Spinners at 30 feet

Spinners at 30 feet

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